To get around the SC ban on liquor outlets within 500 metre of national and state highways, Odisha government has now renamed the roads passing through cities and towns as ‘urban roads’. The roads passing through municipal corporations, municipalities, notified area councils and sub-divisional headquarters would now be called “urban roads”, said a PWD notification. The department also classified all road sections falling within the limits of block and tehsil headquarters as “urban roads”. However, the notification did not cover national highways passing through the urban areas.
The Supreme Court in its order had asked for removal of all liquor shops within a distance of 500 metre from either side of the national and state highways by March 31.
Odisha Excise Secretary Bishnupada Sethi said his officials would examine the notification. He claimed that the excise department had sealed liquor shops located near the state and national highways in the state following the Supreme Court order.
The SC order would lead to a loss of revenue to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore per annum as 1,167 liquor shops in the state have been forced to shut down.